Shepherd Neame Double Stout

Total Score: 5.6/10 Barley1 Chocolate1 Coriander1 Nonicpint1

Shepherd Neame is IMO one brewer you cannot go wrong with – even if their joke-inducing (for me at least) named Master Brew Kentish Ale was borderline average – and Dan Murphy’s have been wise to introduce a few more TOSN (The Other SN – as in not Sierra Nevada) brews to their glacially growing international beer selection. Double Stout sounds right up my alley – if there is 2 of anything I could have Stout is up there just below attractive sex-starved female groupies. Cheers TOSN! [which also sounds suspect when you say it out loud I might add]

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Presents with a suitably dark clear cola body and a boisterous 1 inch khaki head… yes a hard pour was quite unnecessary… *taps fingers on desk waiting for the head to die down* some good protein leaving spiderweb lace elements on the side of the glass though. 7/10.

S: Sweet dark/milk chocolates forward with hints of cereal and a metallic twang… not a lot going on here – could be a bit more complex it must be said but otherwise a solid no-nonsense Stout on the nose here. 7/10.

T: Roasted cereal notes come to the fore here, followed by some sweet dark/milk chocolates, that unwanted metallic twang, and it finishes with overly medicinal herbal bitterness that is very un-stout like… not liking that at all… apart from that it reminds me a bit of Tooheys Old/Carlton Black macro Stouts with the prominent cereal flavour… not a good sign to say the least. A second sip reveals some smoky notes – that’s a bit of an improvement but I am nonetheless still disappointed. 5/10.

M: Mid to light bodied, a bit watery, with a light but prickly carbonation. The wateriness kills it a little bit – this would work better as a nitro beer. 6/10.

D: Well, well, well, well – a Shepherd Neame brew I don’t like… it was bound to happen eventually, but still the shock of a Stout with a sharp medicinal hop note is jarring, and for a second I thought maybe my palate was off for some reason, but no it’s not and this Stout is off the mark big time – Stouts generally have trouble balancing malt sweetness with roasted/smoky flavours – this one is off in IPA-land* struggling to reign in the bitterness, disappointing as this would have made the fridge door if it was good. 5/10.

Food match: Make it a hot Beef Vindaloo to overpower this brew.

*Note to self: Best theme-park idea ever!